Updated: Oct 10
Though no one knows who and when Spicy Tuna was invented, we can guess the idea may have come from Negi Toro - Hosomaki filled with scraped Tuna Belly and scallions.
When made fresh, Spicy Tuna is fantastic and flavorful. The idea of making it spicy is not so much from masking the smell of old Tuna. Sure one can use the spicy to hide the old fishy smell, but that is not what I think why Spicy Tuna was originally invented.
Just like Negi Toro, part of the Tuna used for Spicy Tuan comes from the tail and the part with lots of tendons - undesirable part for Nigiri and Sashimi. The question was, what can you do with those parts? The solution was to separate the red flesh from the tendon by scraping it with a spoon and make a roll. When scraped, Tuna gets somewhat mushy, so why not add some mayo and hot sauce. Voila. Spicy Tuna was born.
Use Sushi Grade or Sahimi Grade Tuna
Make sure your tuna is labeled as "Sushi Grade" or "Sashimi Grade." It means you can eat it raw. If unsure, ask the person who is selling the fish if it is OK for raw consumption.
Scrape Tuna, never chop with a knife
Tuna tastes good when cut thick or chunky. When you chop it with a knife, it loses a nice tuna flavor and making it mushier. The best way is to use a spoon to scrape.
Use Tuna pieces if available
If available, purchase less expensive Tuna pieces or Tuna Tails rather than Tuna Saku blocks which are more expensive.
Hot Sauce, Mayo and Sesame Oil is the basic formula
Sriracha seems to be the most popular hot sauce for Spicy Tuna, but you can use almost any type of hot sauce you like -Tapatio if you like Mexican Food, even Tabasco. You can substitute Sesame Oil with Olive Oil, which goes well with Tuna (like Carpaccio).
Ingredients (for one roll):
1/4 cup (200g) Sushi Rice
1 Nori Seaweed, half sheet
80 g Sushi Grade Yellofwin Tuna Pieces, Tails or Saku Block
2 -3 pcs Avocado, sliced ½ inch thick
10 g Sesame Seeds
30 g Sriracha
30 g Mayo
5 g Sesame Oil (substitute with Olive Oil)
5 g Masago or Tobiko Fish Egg
5 g Cilantro, Chopped
Makisu, Sushi Rolling Mat
Make Sushi Rice (follow this recipe)
Scrape Tuna with a spoon
In a bowl, mix Tuna, Sriracha, Mayo and Sesame Oil
Wipe the cutting board with a wet towel to moisten
Place half sheet nori horizontally, rough side facing up
Wet your hands
Grab sushi rice, tennis ball size, approximately 200g
Place the sushi rice on the top left corner, shaping it like potato
Using the bottom part of your left palm, apply pressure, spread the sushi rice horizontally.
With your right hand, making a “U” shape, guide the sushi rice so that it covers the top half to 2/3 of the Nori
Rhythmically, turn your left hand three times to cover the top portion of the Nori with rice
Clean your hands with the wet towel, dip your fingers in the water
Using fingertips, apply the pressure, spread the rice to the bottom, from the left, center, and right
Spread the sushi rice all the way to the top and corners to cover the entire sheet of Nori as even as possible
Flip the Nori with Sushi Rice so the Nori is facing up
Place Spicy Tuna and Avocado at the center of Nori
Pick up the bottom edge of the Nori, roll like a Yoga mat. The bottom edge should land below the top edge of Nori
Seal, then roll another 90 degrees forward
Place a plastic wrap on the roll, then Makisu rolling mat
Squeeze the Makisu and remove the plastic
Cut into eight pieces
Plate and serve
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